Gujarat High Court: In a batch of civil applications against the method of ‘random algorithm’ adopted for the issuance of a tender and selection of the bidder, the division Bench of Sunita Agarwal, CJ. and Aniruddha P. Mayee, J. dismissed the applications and held that method adopted for selection of the bidder through machine by random algorithm was the most transparent and fair manner of selection of the bidder, as there was no human intervention in the method.
In the matter at hand, the respondent was awarded a tender for procurement of services for outsourcing of manpower. The applicants challenged the award of the said tender on the ground that the method known as ‘random algorithm’ adopted for selecting the bidder was not fair and transparent. The applicant’s case was that though ‘random selection’ was made through the machine but the information in the machine was inserted by the officers who cannot be said to have acted in a fair manner. It was also contended that no information was given to the applicants or other bidders after the selection, till the work order was issued to the selected bidder.
The Bench viewed that the method adopted for selection of the bidder through machine by random algorithm was the most transparent and fair manner of selection of the bidder for providing the services of outsourced man power. The Bench said that there was no human intervention in the selection of the bidder, hence no arbitrariness could be attached to the selection process. The Court refused to interfere with the tender selection as the decision-making process was found to be transparent. The Court also refused to accept the contention of the applicants that the case was violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India. The Court said that Article 14 does not come into play in the tender process.
Further, the Court said that the manner in which, the selection of the bidder was done through machine, and no one was informed that the person selected till work contract was issued, removed all the possibilities of human intervention at any stage of the award of contract. Therefore, the applications were dismissed for being misconceived.
[Spire Enterprise v. Government E-marketplace SPV, 2023 SCC OnLine Guj 2805, Decided on: 22-08-2023]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
For the applicants: Advocate RJ Goswami
For the Respondents: Additional Government Pleader Utkarsh Sharma